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6 Ways to Get Healthy Outdoors

Three people walking in Autumn sunshine with dogs in woodland

You know the usual outdoor health activities like running or cycling, but what if those “basics” just don’t do it for you? There’s great news: there are many ways to get fit outdoors, take advantage of that fresh air, and not feel like you’re “working out”. In fact, the secret to getting fit outdoors is to find something you love that doesn’t feel like a chore. However, that might take a little trial and error to get right.

According to Good Relaxation, there are many benefits to breathing in that outdoor air, and that will double up the health perks instantly. Maybe you’re ready to re-discover an old passion, or finally give that new hobby a try. Here are a few surprising ways to get healthy outdoors, and not one of them “feel like exercise”:

1. Hunting

If you care about eating organically and locally, and you’re a carnivore but don’t like how animals are slaughtered in commercial ways, hunting might be for you. There are all kinds of game available, and some of those epic hunting trips can take a real toll on the body (in a good way). Passionate hunters travel the world seeking out new challenges, and hunting trips can last for days. It’s equal parts hunting, trekking, and the literal thrill of the hunt.

2. ATV riding

Whether you prefer a snowmobile or a summer-ready ATV, this recreational hobby is actually a fantastic workout for the whole body. Check out ATV Illustrated for some of the best trails in the country, and know there are plenty close to you to get started. Some states require a safety course before getting your permit, but it’s a good idea even if it’s not legally necessary. It’s a fantastic option to enjoy with friends or the entire family.

3. Jet skiing

This is kind of like ATV riding but on the water, and it’s a top summer recreational activity for a reason. You need your entire body strength and stamina to go at it all day, and that’s exactly what a lot of people end up doing. Core strength is vital, and you can also soak up some Vitamin D (as long as you remember the sunscreen, too). As an added bonus, it helps you stay cool during the hot months.

4. Open water swimming

Have you tried the gym pool but just feel too constrained swimming laps? Open water swimming at your local lake or river helps you get or stay in shape, yet you just feel like a kid having a blast. Swimming is an excellent sport that’s gentle on the joints and yet demanding on the body. It’s a full-body workout, helps keep you cool, and of course swimming is a survival tool that everyone should have.

5. Flying kites

If you can’t remember the last time you flew a kite, you’re missing out on a year-round activity. It doesn’t just take physical stamina, but also mental clarity, in order to keep your kite afloat. Balance, a little cardio in spurts, and core/upper body strength are all required. The windier the elements, the more challenging it will be (or you can also get into an activity like kite fighting).

6. Trail cleanup

Maybe the idea of an hours-long hike doesn’t appeal to you, but you’re a philanthropist at heart. Trail cleanups or beach cleanups are always happening, and this is a great way to do good, meet people and also sneak in a workout. When good karma is the “stretch” after a session, you can’t beat that.

Just get outdoors no matter what it takes and be creative. There aren’t any rules that you need to break a sweat to make it worthwhile.